For the past four years we’ve been invited by our friends in Brewdog’s Glasgow bars to be part of #Collabfest – the Ellon brewer’s annual festival of UK brewing and for the 2017 edition, we were excited to be invited to work with our original co-conspirators in the West End bar and to embrace a new twist on the collabfest party - a three-way with Cumbernauld-based brewers Out Of Town.
Having having hosted Out of Town and their excellent beers at FyneFest 2017, we were excited to get working on this year’s brew, but with time and production pressures on both breweries, it fell to the Glasgow bar team to form the concept for this year’s brew – Fountain Mountain (4.4%).
Once Colin and the team from the bar expressed an interest in doing something sessionable with a lemon sherbet punch, we worked through a few recipe ideas between the breweries before landing on a grisette spiked with the zest and juice of a lot of lemons.
Though fairly poorly documented in history, grisettes can generally be classified as light, farmhouse-style ales, originating from Belgium in the 19th Century. While similar to saisons in several ways, grisettes were traditionally brewed to quench the thirsts of miners working in quarries and mines in the Hainaut province, as opposed to saisons which were brewed for the farm labourers working in fields.
Grisettes typically are brewed with a high percentage of wheat, so for Fountain Mountain, we used a combination of two different wheats from Scottish maltster, Mungoswell, alongside pale and carapils malts and a touch of flaked oats.
To give the vibrant, citrus character of the sherbet fountain, we chose Sorachi Ace and Citra for hops, adding both after flameout and circulating to keep the bitterness low and capture the fresh fruity flavours of two of our favourite hops.
And if that wasn’t enough, then came the lemons… a lot of lemons. In standard Collabfest procedure, we welcomed Jamie and Nicky from the Brewdog Glasgow bar to join us for the brew day and put them to work on over 25kg of whole lemons, zesting and juicing them by hand with the zest joining the hops in the kettle and the lemon juice, over 13 litres of it, going straight into the FV before pitching one of our favourite farmhouse yeasts.
Fountain Mountain, whose name combines its lemony sherbet fountain flavours and gives a nod to its historic style, is a super-refreshing, low ABV, farmhouse-style beer characterised by its fruity estery yeast character up front with a whack of aromatic hops, sliding quickly into sharp, clean zingy lemon fizz that lingers in the finish.
The beer launches this weekend (20-22 October) in every Brewdog bar in the UK (plus Germany and Sweden) – catch us in the Glasgow bar on Friday afternoon/evening and let us know what you think in person, or give us a shout out on social with your thoughts.